Vermont Brewery Tours: Explore the Upper Valley

 

Vermont Brewery Tours: Explore the Upper Valley

Craft beer is a way of life in Vermont’s Upper Valley, where the region’s natural beauty melds flawlessly with the historical significance and artisanal quintessence. And there’s no better example of artistry, history, and beauty than The Norwich Inn, established in 1797. The Norwich Inn is a culinary destination, a historic hotel, and, of course, a 27-year-old microbrewery. So, it should come as no surprise that the inn collaborates with Vermontology Guided Tours to offer a one-of-a-kind beer, spirit, and food experience in the heart of the Upper Valley. New Englanders flock to The Norwich Inn to take full advantage of the two-day Vermont brewery tour package, which includes a seven-hour shuttled adventure, private tastings, two nights in an old-world guest room, and so much more!

The Vermont Brewery Tour: 6 Stops in 7 Hours

Photo from the Vermont Brewery Tour at The Norwich Inn, including Beer, a Growler, and a Pumpkin.

Before diving fully into the seven-hour Vermont brewery tour, it’s important to note that you may or may not stop at these destinations. Because of COVID-19, elements of the tour are fluid due to altered hours and availability. Rest assured, you’ll still enjoy seven full hours of world-class beer, spirits, and artisanal edibles. This all-inclusive Vermont brewery tour includes stops at a local cheese shop, several taprooms, two distilleries, and the world-famous King Arthur Baking Company (formerly known as King Arthur Flour). Buckle up—it’s going to be a flavorful ride!

1. Cabot Creamery Co-operative

Before opening the tasting tour with a bevy of distilled spirits, you’ll make a quick stop at Cabot’s Quechee location. Their homemade cheeses pair beautifully with just about every type of adult beverage.

2. Vermont Spirits

The Vermont brewery tour’s first core stop is the Quechee Gorge Village, home to Vermont Spirits. The earnest tasting room is spacious and quiet, and you’ll likely have the whole distillery to yourselves.

3. Long Trail Brewing Co.

Next, you’ll trek westward en route to Long Trail Brewing for a flight of craft beer and some American grub, such as a burger, kale salad, or turkey Reuben. Long Trail and Jasper Murdock Ales are two of the oldest craft breweries in Vermont. 

Photo of a Beer Flight During a Vermont Brewery Tour.4. Windsor’s Artisans Park

Windsor’s glorious, eight-business Artisans Park is one of the Upper Valley’s finest attractions. And it’s home to Harpoon Brewery, SILO Distillery, and Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company (among others). The experience can vary, depending on what your group hopes to see and taste. The Path of Life Sculpture Garden is a must-see!

5. River Roost Brewery

On the way back to Norwich, you’ll stop in Hartford at River Roost Brewery, a tiny operation that’s perfect for small groups and tours. Despite its modest taproom, River Roost remains one of the top-ranked breweries in the U.S., according to Untappd’s beer society.

6. King Arthur Baking Company

We’re still getting used to saying “Baking Company,” as it’s been “Flour” for 230 years. Despite the new name and logo, King Arthur’s flagship campus remains the same quintessential New England attraction. Watch a live cooking demonstration, shop on a variety of goods, sip on a hot beverage, savor a dessert, and admire the landscape’s natural beauty.

Two Nights at The Norwich Inn

Photo of a Vermont Brewery Tour inside Jasper Murdock—Bombers of Beer, Anyone?The Norwich Inn’s two-night Vermont brewery tour package includes a wide variety of exclusive luxuries, as seen below. Unlike an “average” stay, each package comes with special perks, such as a take-home bomber and an on-site dining credit. Keep reading to learn more about what’s included:

  • Two nights lodging at The Norwich Inn
  • A welcome beer flight (per person) inside Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse
  • Pick up at 10 a.m. via Vermontology Guided Tours
  • Return to the inn at 5 p.m. for one pint of beer (per person)
  • $25 dining credit per room, good for food or beverage at any time during your stay
  • A take-home 22-ounce bomber (per person) of the Jasper Murdock Ale of your choice
  • A block (per room) of our Whistling Pig Ale Cheddar Cheese made in conjunction with Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company

The package costs $339 per person (double occupancy) or $499 per person (single occupancy). Groups of four (or more) receive a $25 discount per person. While most tours are scheduled for Thursdays, weekends may be available. Please call 802-649-1143 to inquire.

Plan a Visit to Vermont in the Fall: Upper Valley Edition

 

Plan a Visit to Vermont in the Fall: Upper Valley Edition

Photo of a Barn in Southcentral Vermont in the Fall.Leaf peeping in Vermont’s Upper Valley remains a classic New England “rite of passage.” As summer gradually converts to autumn, the Upper Valley’s diverse forestry magnificently transforms from various hues of green into a colorful, eye-popping meld of marigold, amber, crimson, and kelly. Amateur photographers, honeymooners, and nature enthusiasts alike cannot resist Norwich’s allure. Visiting Southcentral Vermont in the fall is just what the doctor ordered, especially if you’ve been feeling cooped up this summer. An idyllic place to start and finish each day of heart-warming New England foliage is The Norwich Inn, a historical landmark, craft brewery, and fine eatery.

15 Ways to Embrace Vermont in the Fall

There are literally hundreds of ways to embrace Southcentral Vermont in the fall, especially if you have a fleet of eager kiddos who can find pleasure in just about anything outdoors-related. However, there’s ample sophistication, solitude, and nostalgia around every corner of this sprawling, rolling landscape. In particular, the Upper Valley is a sublime destination for couples with a penchant for absorbing history, artisanal delights, and bales of natural beauty.

If you plan to visit Vermont in the fall, we highly recommend bookmarking this makeshift “bucket list.” Some things simply cannot be overlooked, especially during the most colorful of seasons.

  1. Aerial View of Southcentral Vermont in the Fall.Snap photos of several covered bridges, all of which are surrounded by lush, vibrant foliage.
  2. Spend an afternoon at Artisans Park, home to the 14-acre Path of Life Sculpture Garden.
  3. Browse through the local farmers market, and return home with some unique goodies.
  4. Hop into the car and just drive.
  5. Embark on a self-guided Upper Valley brewery tour, where Oktoberfest lagers and pumpkin ales are abundant.
  6. Hike to the top of a jaw-dropping overlook, such as Gile Mountain’s fire tower.
  7. Book the “Great Outdoors” package, which includes hiking, biking, a 20 percent off lodging discount, and a $25 gift card to King Arthur Flour.
  8. Go “waterfalling” in search of true tranquility.
  9. Taste-test an assortment of seasonally-inspired, fall-flavored cuisines at Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse (and wash it down with an annual Oktoberfest märzen).
  10. Survive a wacky, themed corn maze.
  11. Fill a 10-pound peck with scrumptious apples at a nearby orchard.
  12. Stroll through a pumpkin patch in search of “the one.”
  13. Enjoy a picnic at King Arthur Flour’s flagship campus, which happens to feature a bevy of towering, colorful trees.
  14. Paddle down the Connecticut River in a canoe or kayak.
  15. From barn to bottle: Spend a few hours at Silo Distillery’s farmstead.

Classic New England Vacations and Vermont Fall Colors

We sincerely hope that this list of classic autumn activities inspires you to visit Southcentral Vermont in the fall. With September rapidly approaching, please don’t miss out on a romantic getaway to The Norwich Inn. As one of the top-rated hotels near Dartmouth College, our 1797 estate grows quite busy during peak seasons (such as fall). When you’re not picking apples, photographing covered bridges, hiking to summits, and shopping artisanal crafts, The Norwich Inn is the perfect place to unwind, relax, and recharge. Please give us a call today at 802-649-1143 (or check availability online) to book a well-deserved escape into Vermont’s vibrant Upper Valey.

Mountain Biking in Vermont’s Upper Valley

 

Mountain Biking in Vermont’s Upper Valley

Photo of a Man Mountain Biking in Vermont's Backcountry.As we enthusiastically greet summer’s long-awaited arrival, it’s impossible not to ponder the many wondrous outdoor adventures readily available in the Upper Valley, Vermont’s idyllic gully of romance. With operations gradually returning to semi-normalcy, we expect an influx of nature enthusiasts in the coming months who value the valley’s sprawling natural beauty. The region itself is known for its picturesque covered bridges, serene waterfalls, jaw-dropping scenic overlooks, and glorious Artisans Park. And one of the most common thrill-based exploratory activities is mountain biking (or, to a small sect, cycling). Mountain biking in Vermont’s Upper Valley is a visual, muscle-building treat that very few undertake. Thus, the trails near The Norwich Inn are never crowded.

Mountain Biking in Vermont: 10 Upper Valley Trails

It’s no secret that New Englanders cannot resist the call of Vermont’s rolling mountain ranges, particularly during summer’s lush and autumn’s peak. The allure of Norwich, in comparison to other neighboring destinations, is its proximity to everything, including a prestigious Ivy League institution, some of the country’s finest breweries, a bevy of historical landmarks, and, yes, King Arthur Flour’s flagship campus. There’s a lot to love about this densely-thicketed, riverside community. And perhaps the cherry on top is the area’s growing trail network. When examined as a collective whole, this network of singletrack provides some of the most enticing mountain biking in Vermont. So, without further ado, here are 10 distinct trails near modern Upper Valley rentals:

  1. Blue Ribbon
  2. Brookemeade Main Loop
  3. The Rollercoaster
  4. Noodle’s Revenge
  5. French’s Ledges
  6. Fusters Trail
  7. Parcel 5
  8. Boston Lot 3
  9. Heyl-Dothan Connector
  10. Hardwoods

Alternative Routes: Roads and Rails

You’ll notice from the list above that Pittsfield, a nearby community, has a thriving network of mountainside trails. It’s not overly common to discover such magical mountain biking in Vermont near a village of fewer than 550 residents. It’s worth noting that cycling in Vermont is also subtly growing in popularity. The glory of cycling is that the backcountry is your oyster; there’s seemingly no cap on adventure in the countryside. And the Northern Rail Trail is, without a doubt, the prettiest route in the Upper Valley. This mostly-flat, 58-mile path spans two counties, making it the longest rail-trail conversion in the state. Most cyclists pick up the route near Lebanon. It goes without saying that the leaf-peeping on this trek is undeniably awe-inspiring.

Historic Hotels near Hanover, NH

Photo of People Dining at Norwich Inn After a Day of Mountain Biking in Vermont.

A common gathering place following a full day of mountain biking in Vermont’s glorious backcountry is Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse, a cozy, familiar slice of the past. As one of the premier restaurants in Norwich, we’ve expanded the alehouse throughout the decades. Patio seating is a hot commodity during peak seasons, so please arrive early to nab a table. The Norwich Inn provides an idyllic combination of history, gourmet cuisine, fine ales, and outrageous specials and packages. For updates on lodging, dining, and capacity, please bookmark this link (or follow us on our social media channels).

A Visitor’s Guide to the Upper Valley

 

A Visitor’s Guide to the Upper Valley

Upper ValleyThe Upper Valley, which covers acreage in both Vermont and neighboring New Hampshire, remains a historical, adventurous, and undeniably charming four-season destination. Travelers return time and time again to bask in the natural beauty, indulge in the sophistication, and learn more about the region’s absorbing historical significance. And the most desirable location to start and finish each day is right here at The Norwich Inn, one of the top-reviewed hotels near Dartmouth College. Where else can you stay on a 200-year-old property that features elegant guest rooms, fine dining, and an award-winning craft brewery?

15 Reasons to Visit the Upper Valley

The Upper Valley requires repeat visits as each season is unique. Summer is bustling with outdoor adventurers. Fall hosts a wide variety of leaf peepers. Winter ushers in hundreds of couples in need of an extended break from the city. And spring breathes new life into the Upper Valley’s shops, restaurants, and, of course, nearby wilderness. To ensure that your next visit to The Norwich Inn is nothing short of flawless, we’ve compiled 15 unique reasons to visit Norwich this year (regardless of the season).

  1. Tour Dartmouth College, with a Stop at the Hood Museum of Art
  2. Pose Next to the Prettiest Covered Bridges in the Upper Valley
  3. Spend a Day at Artisans Park in Nearby Windsor; the Path of Life Sculpture Garden Is a Revelation
  4. Upper ValleyEnroll in Baking School at King Arthur Flour’s Flagship Campus
  5. Attend Vermont NanoFest, New England’s Premier Beer Festival
  6. Plan a Stay During the Annual Upper Valley Restaurant Week
  7. Bask in the Upper Valley’s Jaw-Dropping Fall Colors
  8. Learn, Shop, and Dine at Simon Pearce’s Flagship Location (as seen in the photo above)
  9. Treat the Kids to an Afternoon at the Montshire Museum of Science
  10. Hike to the Top of Gile Mountain, Home to the Upper Valley’s Best Vantage Point
  11. Shop ‘Til You Drop in Norwich, Hanover, and Artisans Park
  12. A Weekend of Craft Beer at Jasper Murdock Ales, Our On-Site Brewery
  13. Paddle down the Connecticut River via Canoe, Kayak, or Paddleboard
  14. Farm to Barn to Bottle: Join a Silo Distillery Tour
  15. Plan a Picturesque Wedding at The Barn at Happy Hill, a Rustic Fairytale Come to Life

Upper ValleyHistoric Hotels in Norwich, VT

Whether you plan to visit Dartmouth College, explore the Green Mountain State, or relax here at The Norwich Inn, you quickly fall in love with this region’s unique blend of history, adventure, and refinement. And don’t forget that both the Ivy Lodge and Walker House boast some of the prettiest Upper Valley rentals, all of which are just a short drive (or walk) from the city’s best attractions. Please give us a call today at 802-649-1143, or visit our specials page, to book a well-deserved escape into the heart of New England.

The 9 Prettiest Covered Bridges in Vermont

 

The 9 Prettiest Covered Bridges in Vermont

Vermont is brimming with history as its statehood was granted all the way back in 1791. And in the late 1830s, covered bridges began to “pop up” in various regions, most notably in the densely-forested Upper Valley. There’s something magically romantic and undeniably picturesque about a century-old covered bridge. A large number of the prettiest covered bridges in Vermont are within 60 minutes of The Norwich Inn, effectively drawing thousands of travelers each year to our charming Connecticut River community.

The Best Covered Bridges in Vermont

If you’ve ever taken a peek at a detailed map of the covered bridges in Vermont, you already know that they’re around nearly every bend in the road. To ensure that your next relaxing, romantic Upper Valley escape is nothing short of flawless, we’ve pieced together a handy list of our favorite covered bridges. Many of these beauties have been restored or reconstructed in the last decade due to Hurricane Irene. But, thankfully, each bridge has regained its former beauty.

Covered Bridges in Vermont1. Taftsville Covered Bridge – Woodstock

Built: 1836
Length: 189 feet (two spans)
Description: Taftsville’s crimson beauty sits above the serene Ottauquechee River. It remains the oldest covered bridge in Vermont—it’s a genuine timeless wonder. No covered bridge driving tour is complete without a stop at Taftsville.

2. Quechee Covered Bridge – Quechee

Built: 1970 (rebuilt in 2012)
Length: 70 feet
Description: Quechee’s original structure was unfortunately washed away by Hurricane Irene in 2011. But the nearly-identical 2012 version still provides jaw-dropping Ottauquechee River gorge views. And it’s steps from Simon Pearce’s turbine-powered glassblowing studio and fine riverfront restaurant.

3. Union Village Covered Bridge – East Thetford

Built: 1867
Length: 113 feet
Description: For whatever reason, Thetford’s Union Village never ranks among the best covered bridges in Vermont—until today. The surrounding beauty and handcrafted interior amplify the experience. Oh, and it’s just six miles north of The Norwich Inn.

Covered Bridges in Vermont4. Middle Covered Bridge – Woodstock

Built: 1968 (rehabilitated in 1976)
Length: 124 feet
Description: A fire nearly engulfed Middle Covered Bridge in the mid-1970s, but, thankfully, she survived. This bridge is particularly fun because it has a safe walking path along the edge where visitors can closely observe the craftsmanship.

5. Moseley Covered Bridge – Northfield

Built: 1899
Length: 39 feet
Description: Although small, Moseley remains one of the most picturesque covered bridges in Vermont thanks to its vivid red hue. It sits along a quiet, countryside road near the small town of Northfield.

6. The Vermont Country Store Kissing Bridge – Rockingham

Built: 1870 (dismantled in 1959, rebuilt in 1967)
Length: 160 feet
Description: While “The Kissing Bridge” isn’t among the prettiest covered bridges in Vermont, tourists (especially couples) flock to this unique destination to pose for a kiss. The Vermont Country Store, meanwhile, is a compelling draw as their homemade goods are quite splendid.

Covered Bridges in Vermont7. Lincoln Covered Bridge – Woodstock

Built: 1877 (rehabilitated in 1989)
Length: 129
Description: Locating a covered bridge in Woodstock, Vermont, isn’t challenging—there are several. Lincoln doesn’t get a ton of love, but the riverside vantage points are stellar.

8. Worrall Covered Bridge – Rockingham

Built: 1868
Length: 83 feet
Description: The lush, towering hillside creates an idyllic atmosphere at Worrall Covered Bridge, one of the least-visited Southern Vermont bridges. It’s undergone a handful of restorations, but it’s never looked more visually striking than today.

9. Mill Covered Bridge – Tunbridge

Built: 1883 (rebuilt in 2000)
Length: 73 feet
Description: Technically, Mill Covered Bridge is a replica of the original 1883 marvel. But it still exudes beauty and simplicity. The shallow, rocky White River is a great place to skip stones, snap photos, and enjoy a picnic.

Historic Hotels in Norwich, VT

After visiting some of the prettiest covered bridges in Southern Vermont, retreat to The Norwich Inn for an evening of award-winning craft beer, fine dining, and a dash of sophistication. Browse through our elegant, romantic guest rooms to find one that perfectly suits your style and budget. The Norwich Inn’s history dates all the way back to 1797, so your well-deserved Upper Valley getaway certainly won’t be short on historical significance. Give us a call today at 802-649-1143 to learn more about our lovely inn (or check availability online).

Vibrant ‘Upper Valley’ Vermont Fall Colors

 

Vibrant ‘Upper Valley’ Vermont Fall Colors

Vermont Fall ColorsWe’re on the heels of yet another glorious fall season here in Norwich, VT. As the Upper Valley’s lush forestry transforms into a jaw-dropping blend of crimson, amber, marigold, and hunter green, The Norwich Inn welcomes hundreds of “leaf peepers” who are aching to become fully immersed in autumn’s beauty. Whether you’re aiming to hike atop a mountain, snap photos of a covered bridge, or visit a rousing fall festival, we’re just a short drive from some of the most vibrant Central Vermont fall colors. As always, don’t forget to take a glimpse at the up-to-date Vermont fall foliage report before departure.

Locate Awe-Inspiring Central Vermont Fall Colors

Many guests, before booking, search “what to do in Vermont in October” to get a better understanding of a potential autumn escape to Norwich, VT. To ensure that your well-deserved fall getaway to the Upper Valley is nothing short of flawless, we’ve pieced together some of our favorite fall activities. If you’re hoping to find a list of quintessential fall drives near The Norwich Inn, we recommend simply hitting the open road and letting this magical landscape surprise you!

The Best Fall Hike and Overlook: Gile Mountain Trail

Even if you’re not a self-proclaimed nature enthusiast, you can probably appreciate an easy-going hike in the crisp, fresh autumn air. The Gile Mountain Trail, located inside the “Norwich Town Forest,” is home to the region’s best valley views. Despite offering a marvelous, sweeping overlook atop a sturdy fire tower and a peaceful backcountry hiking trail, most travelers don’t know about Gile Mountain. The easy-to-moderate 0.7-mile hike atop Gile Mountain features diverse flora, including dense forestry and tall ferns.

The Prettiest Covered Bridge: Quechee Covered Bridge

Vermont Fall ColorsThe Upper Valley is home to dozens of picturesque covered bridges, many of which are within 30 minutes of our historic Norwich, VT, inn. And it’s nearly impossible to top the rustic beauty of the Quechee Covered Bridge, especially when quintessential Central Vermont fall colors surround it. Not only does this 49-year-old, 70-foot-long steel bridge make a perfect postcard photograph, but it’s steps away from The Mill at Simon Pearce, an ultra-popular, turbine-powered glassblowing studio and waterfall-view restaurant.

Woodstock Festivals

As you might expect, there are several family-friendly Central Vermont fall festivals in the region. But we recommend embarking on a short journey to nearby Woodstock, VT, where you’ll discover not one but two mid-October extravaganzas on the same weekend. Woodstock’s Harvest Festival and (take a deep breath) the Apples and Crafts Fair & Food Truck Festival are both worth a visit, even if it’s just for an hour or two. When you’re not sipping on spiced cider and munching on fresh-made doughnuts, join the barn dance, vegetable harvest, or cider pressing.

Best Breweries in Vermont: Jasper Murdock Ales

When you’re not observing and capturing the prettiest Upper Valley Vermont fall colors, don’t forget to slip into The Norwich Inn’s pub for a pint of our microbrewery’s Bavarian märzenbier. This balanced, mildly-sweet Oktoberfest lager is malty yet sessionable. Don’t forget to return home with a growler of this tasty, seasonal brew! The Norwich Inn is not only one of the top-rated hotels near Dartmouth College, but our historical landmark was established back in 1797. Browse through our vacation packages and specials before booking direct at NorwichInn.com.